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Launch of Java Black Belt

Mrs Tan Ching Yee, Chief Executive Officer, IDA Singapore-Speech Sheraton Towers Singapore ...

Mrs Tan Ching Yee, Chief Executive Officer, IDA Singapore-Speech
Sheraton Towers Singapore

Singapore, 29 January 2003

Mr Lionel Lim, Vice President & Managing Director, Sun Microsystems Asia South,
Distinguished partners,
Ladies & Gentlemen,


I am delighted to be here this afternoon to be part of the launch of the Java Black Belt programme.

IDA is confident that Infocomm is here to stay in all aspects of life and work. This is why IDA continues to work with industry partners to increase the capabilities of our Infocomm professionals. When times are good, people are motivated by career advancement to train and upgrade themselves. But in hard times, job retention becomes top priority. For those working in the high-tech sector, they face the extra heat of keeping pace with a constantly changing technology landscape. Remaining relevant is a continuous challenge.

 Nurturing Infocomm Black Belts

I am very happy that SUN Microsystems has taken the lead to equip our workforce with the latest Java technology. Leveraging on IDA's Infocomm Training and Attachment Scheme, or iTA, the Java Black Belt programme will train 36 aspiring IT architects in the latest and hottest Java technology, in areas like High Performance Computing, Storage and Wireless.  I encourage other technology leaders to work with IDA to provide more of such opportunities for Singapore's Infocomm talent.

I have just enrolled my son in taekwondo training in school. So I know that a black belt is only for those who consistently demonstrate discipline, good character, and precision in the techniques of the martial arts. In principle, a Java Black Belt is no different. A Java Black Belt holder is a certified Java architect with the highest level of technical skills in Singapore. I should know. IDA nominated 3 employees for the training but only one was deemed to have the necessary skills to be accepted. How do you earn a black belt? You find a good sensei (teacher) and a good school, begin training and work very hard in improving your techniques. Under the Java Black Belt programme, the 36 trainees will be attached to SUN's Centres of Excellence in Germany, Singapore, Sweden, UK and the USA. Apart from learning the latest technologies, these trainees will work alongside some of SUN's best mentors and trainers and see how new products and services are developed.

Singapore on the Cutting Edge

Singapore needs a differentiating factor to rise above stiff competition. Having a pool of highly specialised, highly knowledgeable and highly skilled manpower is such a factor. Many can learn on the job, or go for training but only the best can aspire to earn black belts.

Java Technology is a key technology platform for Singapore. It has a huge potential for applications development, e-commerce and m-commerce. It also provides open standards for mobile, enterprise and network computing; and it is widely supported by major device manufacturers, software vendors and the developer community. 

Acquiring skills in critical and emerging technologies such as Java, Web Services or Grid Computing is important. It builds on the expertise of our manpower and increases their professional assets. This will give them the cutting edge when the economy recovers.  Today's launch of the Java Black Belt programme is therefore timely.  It offers opportunities for Infocomm professionals skilled in Java to gain specialisation and enhance their skill sets.


I congratulate SUN Microsystems and your industry partners on the launch of the Java Black Belt programme and wish you every success. To the 36 aspiring architects, I wish you a fruitful learning journey and a bright future in riding the next Infocomm wave. Let us raise our coffee cups to that!

Thank You.